This is yet another hunk of the book project that was written, then shit-canned. It’s from a horrible part of my life when I was completely adrift, recently dropped out of West Virginia State College, and drinking way too much. My girlfriend, Kelly, was doing well in school, and the clock was ticking. I knew I’d better get it together before she graduated college, or it would be the end of us. Many of my friends were moving away, and seemed to have their lives in order. And I was doing the kind of stuff I describe below.
Steve was now away at Ohio State, and Ed was at Tech. Both seemed to be thriving, as I floundered. And, of course, Kelly was clicking right along. The secret, she told me, was that she went to class. An interesting approach.
One evening I called my friend Tim, to see if he wanted to go to a record store, and his dad said he’d joined the Army. He hadn’t told any of his friends, he just enlisted and was now in basic training. It was tough news for me. Tim was a fellow music nut, and sober oasis of good humor and sanity. I’d miss hanging out with him, talking and laughing.
Everybody seemed to be moving on.
One night Bill and I were out drinking, and riding around in his pickup truck. We went down an alleyway, for no particular reason, and he reached out and grabbed a bag of trash from a can. He held it until we were on West Virginia Avenue, and dropped it in the middle of the street.
It was the kind of thing we did: non-stop stupid shit, designed to amuse. In the greater pantheon of stupid shit, however, this one was pretty lame. Moving garbage from one place to another? Weak.
But Bill wasn’t finished. He said, “Watch this,” and turned at the next corner. Then he drove around the block, steadily picking up speed, and hit the sack of trash at 30 mph. There was a spectacular explosion of coffee grounds, saturated paper towels, potato peels, and spaghetti noodles. A vortex of colorful garbage was created behind the truck, and crap was strewn for a full city block.
We laughed and laughed and laughed.
In fact, we enjoyed the exercise so much, we immediately did it again. But the second time there was apparently a heavy glass orange juice jar in the bag, and the truck felt like it briefly went up on two wheels. Bill almost lost control and crashed into a parked car. It wasn’t nearly as much fun as the first go ‘round. Plus, one of the residents recognized Bill’s truck, and made a few phone calls. Nothing major happened, but it was enough to make us remove that particular stunt from our repertoire.
Another day I climbed into the back of Bill’s truck, and we went driving past a roast beef restaurant, where a radio station mascot – the V100 Chocolate Moose – was parading around, and waving at the motorists. As we went past, I stood up, hurled a softball, and hit the Moose directly in the gut. It buckled over at the waist, and we nearly shat ourselves with laughter.
When Ed came home from college for Christmas, I couldn’t wait to tell him about the Moose and the trash bags, and how a half-eaten Hot Pocket had fallen from the truck’s exhaust manifold, a full hour later. But he only smiled, he didn’t laugh. And it seemed like the smile was forced. It was a disappointing reaction. This was the kind thing he always loved.
He rode around with us that night, and drank some beer. But he was different; his personality had changed. He told us about people we didn’t know, and seemed fixated on stuff we didn’t care about. We wanted the Ed who left Dunbar four or five months ago, not this Invasion of the Bodysnatchers pod version of him.
I mean, how could someone not laugh at a person running over a bag of trash with a pickup truck? Clearly, college had ruined the man. I congratulated myself for dropping out, and avoiding such a fate.
More stuff I’ve cut: here, here, and here.
Now playing in the bunker
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WB in OH says
WB in OH says
Interesting, when my friends came back from college for the first time they had changed also. They brought back pot. We never smoked pot but after a few months in college all my friends were pot heads.
Did the same thing with a friend when I was around 18. We drove around and he was picking up, and tossing, the giant orange DOT bags on the side of the road that were filled with assorted litter and debris. Hilarity ensued. One must have been filled with broken glass, because he filleted his hand open and bled all over the inside of my car. Hilarity over.
All this after coming from Pizza Hut where he shoved pizza between the upper and lower cushions of the booth- “stuffed seat pizza” he called it. Then we stole the spatula thing. Yeah we were a couple of hot shit badasses.
And what sort of education do you have, Mr. Kay?
Well, I dropped out of West Virginia State College, that’s gotta count for somethin’.
WV State is not the ONLY college I’ve dropped out of, I’ll have you know.
And the legend grows…
Amazing. I just got a call that my 52 year old cousin (two years older than me) has DAYS to live because of liver cancer. She’s only known for 3 months. Life is fucking unfair.
BUT I still laughed at the moose going down.
Oh damn, Knucklehead, so sorry to hear that about your cousin, Here – have a hug.
And yeah, the Moose got me out of my foul mood.
Sorry to hear that, Knuck.
Oh..how heartbreaking. So sorry, KH.
lori in cbus says
Here’s a big hug from me, knuck… some day I hope we all get a chance to kick Death in the nuts
Thanks, everyone. I knew I could count of my fellow Surf Reporters to make me feel better. 🙂
Looks like I’m heading stateside Tuesday to say goodbye.
Wisey in TTown says
Top 10! Good stuff Jeff
When my friends and I were holy terrors, we used to get a box of Dunkin’ Munchkins and hurl them out the car window at unsuspecting pedestrians. My friend martha thought they’d stick better if we licked the sugar off. She would also suck the jelly out of them. One night we peppered some poor bastard and I swear, I think he went into cardiac arrest.
I went to community college (never dormed) but I know what you mean about friends changing. I found it moreso in kids who had strict parents and went away to school and went wild.
I don’t get it.
Can you provide greater detail on how Martha sucked the jelly out?
You know the little hole on the side of a jelly donut? She’d pry it open a little more (tongue or finger) and literally suck the jelly out.
Jesus, I suddenly feel like I’m talking dirty!
Need the background music…. boom..chicka..bow..bow….
So she’d flick her tongue around the hole until the jelly would come out?
Yes. Then hurl the soggy munchkin aiming at someone’s head.
So she both spit and swallowed…
Martha would be so proud you said that! LMFAO!
Bill in WV says
I saw what you did there.
Bill in WV says
Who’s this Bill you keep referring to? Certainly not me. I was known for sitting on fart-riddled, apolstered church pews, every time the doors were open. And, someone else did the farting, I’m here to tell you.
if that’s cut material i’m probably gonna laugh so hard my anus prolapses when i get the book…
The moose doubled over would have been hilarious. Classic for sure.
We threw eggs at people on (pedal) bikes and runners. Washed cars at the police station for a week over that bullshit.
Bill in WV says
We sacrificed a perfectly good softball for that little stunt. It’s probably in the Charleston PD evidence room right now, filed under “Cold Cases”.
Never mind the police! My mother would have had my ass in a sling faster than you could say Egglands Best.
That moose deserved it. When WVAF changed to V100 it was an abomination. Still hate those bastards.
I used to be a WHFS listener, but then they went Spanish and now I don’t listen.
When I lived in DC I listened too. I loved Aquaman. I was working at DC101 just wishing I had landed at HFS. I had long moved away when I heard they changed to Spanish!??!! WTF !!!
Damien is still on rnr, I think.
Spotify killed the radiostar.
And the shitty commercials too.
Oh God dont get me started on Damien.!!!!
I can only get RNR for about 30 minutes during the trip north on I-95.
Jimmy Woo says
WVSR is not showing up in google search
lori in cbus says
Jeff, your book is gonna be goooood.. this update made me want more.
The doubled over moose was awesome. Me and my asshole friend were good at launching glass bottles from his van into street signs.
I may feel sorry for the Chocolate Moose, but his pain is my laughter. It’s probably one of HIS best stories, now. If the softball didn’t kill him.
I dropped out of Baylor University after 2 months. I was a fucking idiot back then, still am.
If this is the cut material, I can’t wait to read the book!
The Qweezy Mark says
Hostgator was saying for a little while that this site is suspended……………………………? Filthy mongrels.
What is a hostgator? Is that of of those Florida critters that eats people’s hostdogs?
Today I was sitting in Burger King all by myself, eating my lunch, when I started thinking about that doubled-over moose. For the life of me I couldn’t stop smiling, and I had to leave before breaking out into a full giggling fit. Sitting by oneself in Burger King while laughing at something invisible is usually a bad idea.